[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 154 (Friday, August 9, 2002)]
[Notices]
[Pages 51838-51844]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-20221]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[Docket No. 990125030-2149-03]
RIN 0648-ZA56


Sea Grant National Strategic Investments in Aquatic Nuisance 
Species, Oyster Disease, and Gulf of Mexico Oyster Industry: Request 
for Proposals for FY 2003

AGENCY: National Sea Grant College Program, National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of request for proposals.

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SUMMARY: The purpose of this notice is to advise the public that the 
National Sea Grant College Program (Sea Grant) is entertaining 
preliminary proposals and subsequently full proposals for National 
Strategic Investments in the following three programs:
    (1) The Aquatic Nuisance Species Program, which seeks to fund 
research and outreach projects for the prevention and control of 
introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species.
    (2) The Oyster Disease Program, which seeks to fund innovative 
research that provides technology and management strategies to combat 
oyster disease and bring about the restoration of oysters and the 
oyster industry in U.S. Coastal areas.
    (3) The Gulf of Mexico Oyster Industry Program, which is a long 
term, research-based program aimed at assisting the oyster industry in 
states adjoining the Gulf of Mexico to achieve full economic recovery 
and sustainable oyster production.
    To support projects in the above three programs, Sea Grant expects 
to provide a total of about $5,600,000, $4,000,000, and $2,000,000 
respectively, over a two-year period (FY 2003 and FY 2004). Matching 
funds equal to a minimum of 50% of the Federal request must be 
provided. Successful projects, which will have a maximum duration of 
two years, will be selected through national competitions.

DATES: Preliminary proposals must be received by 5 p.m. (local time) on 
September 17, 2002. After evaluation at the National Sea Grant Office 
(NSGO), some proposers will be encouraged to prepare full proposals, 
which must be received by 5 p.m. (local time) on December 3, 2002. (See 
ADDRESSES for where to submit preliminary and full proposals.) Note 
that applications arriving after these deadlines will be accepted for 
review only if the applicant can document that the application was 
provided to a delivery service that guaranteed delivery to the address 
listed below (See ADDRESSES) prior to the specified closing date and 
time; in any event, applications received later than two business days 
following the closing date will not be accepted. Facsimile 
transmissions and electronic mail submission of proposals will not be 
accepted. It is anticipated that funding decisions will be made by 
March 2003, and that successful applicants will be able to initiate 
projects approximately June 1, 2003.

ADDRESSES: Preliminary proposals and full proposals originating in Sea 
Grant states must be submitted to the state Sea Grant Program. The 
following are Sea Grant states: Alabama; Alaska; California; 
Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Illinois, Indiana, 
Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; 
Mississippi; New York; New Hampshire; New Jersey; North Carolina; Ohio; 
Oregon; Pennsylvania; Puerto Rico; Rhode Island; South Carolina; Texas; 
Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Wisconsin. Preliminary proposals and 
full proposals originating elsewhere may be submitted either to the 
nearest Sea Grant Program or directly to the NSGO. The addresses of the 
Sea Grant College Program directors may be found on Sea Grant's home 
page (http://www.nsgo.seagrant.org/SGDirectors.html) or may also be 
obtained by contacting the NSGO. Preliminary proposals and full 
proposals submitted to the NSGO should be addressed to: National Sea 
Grant Office, R/SG, Attn: Mrs. Geraldine Taylor, Proposal Processing, 
Room 11732, NOAA, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 
(telephone number for express mail applications is 301-713-2445).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dorn Carlson (Program Director for 
Aquatic Nuisance Species), or Dr. James McVey (Program Director for 
Oyster Programs) at the National Sea Grant

[[Page 51839]]

Office, R/SG, NOAA, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. 
Tel. (301) 713-2435; e-mail: Dorn.Carlson@noaa.gov; Jim.McVey@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Program Authority

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1121-1131.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 11.417, Sea Grant 
Support).

II. Description of Programs

A. Aquatic Nuisance Species Research and Outreach Program

Background
    Invasions of nonindigenous species are increasing in frequency and 
causing substantial damage to the Nation's environment and economy. 
Although the most prominent of these has been the zebra mussel, many 
other nonindigenous species have been introduced and have truly become 
a nationwide problem that threatens many aquatic ecosystems. While some 
intentional introductions may have had beneficial effects, there are 
many other nonindigenous species already present in U.S. waters, or 
with the potential to invade, that may cause significant damage to 
coastal resources and the economies that depend upon them. In response, 
the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 
(16 U.S.C. 4701 et seq.) established a framework for the Nation to 
address the problems of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) invasions of 
coastal and Great Lakes ecosystems.
    Although problems such as the zebra mussel and the sea lamprey 
within the Great Lakes have received the most attention, invasions of 
nonindigenous species in coastal marine environments are an increasing 
and serious threat. The National Invasive Species Act of 1996 (16 
U.S.C. 4711-4714) recognized this by calling for Federal funding to 
support aquatic nuisance species prevention and control along the 
Nation's marine coast.
Funding Priorities and Availability
    The National Sea Grant College Program encourages proposals for 
research and outreach to prevent and control ANS invasions that address 
one or more of the following program areas:
    (1) Biology and Life History: Basic biological research into 
population dynamics, genetics, physiology, behavior, and parasites and 
diseases of nonindigenous species with the potential to lead to the 
development of ecologically safe, effective, and inexpensive control. 
Research on the ecological and environmental tolerances of 
nonindigenous species with the potential for prediction of eventual 
geographic and ecological impacts.
    (2) Effects on Ecosystems: Research on the impacts of nonindigenous 
species at each stage of their life history with the potential for 
helping natural resource managers determine how to minimize the impacts 
on established biota and their habitats.
    (3) Socioeconomic Analysis: Costs and Benefits: Research on the 
potential impacts of nonindigenous species on human health in terms of 
spread of disease, concentration of pollutants, and contamination or 
purification of drinking water sources. Economic impact on sport, 
commercial and tribal fisheries, the recreation and tourism industry, 
the shipping and navigation industry, and municipal and industrial 
water users. Use of research results to provide a scientific basis for 
developing sound policy and environmental law, and for public education 
and technology transfer.
    (4) Control and Mitigation: Research into various types of 
control--engineering (redesigning water intakes, etc.), physical 
(scraping, filtering, etc.), chemical (biocides, antifoulants, etc.), 
biological (parasites, predators, etc.), and physicochemical (heat, 
salinity, pH, etc.)--to develop selective, effective controls that 
minimize adverse ecological/environmental impacts. Outreach activities 
that will transfer these technologies to the appropriate users.
    (5) Preventing New Introductions: Research and outreach into 
identifying vectors of ANS introduction, developing cost-effective, 
realistic methods of prevention, and transferring the information to 
appropriate users. In particular, research to develop, or support the 
development of, workable and effective methods to reduce or eliminate 
nonindigenous species introductions by shipborne pathways such as 
ballast water or hull fouling, without imposing undue hardships on the 
shipping industry.
    (6) Reducing the Spread of Established Populations: Research and 
outreach to identify mechanisms for further dispersal of individual 
established species that will lead to the development of safeguards and 
protocols to prevent and/or slow the spread of nonindigenous species to 
uninfested areas, and transfer of that information to appropriate 
users.
    Potential investigators are encouraged to review the list of recent 
and currently funded Sea Grant projects related to Aquatic Nuisance 
Species that is available on Sea Grant's Aquatic Nuisance Species Web 
page (www.nsgo.seagrant.org/research/nonindigenous). In addition, 
regional priorities have been developed by some Regional Panels of the 
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force and in some State ANS Management 
Plans. Not all regions of the country have regional panels, however, 
and not all panels have published research and outreach priorities; and 
not all states have State ANS Management Plans, and not all State ANS 
Management Plans contain research and outreach priorities. Further 
information on Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Committees, Regional 
Panel sand State ANS Management Plans can be found at the Internet Web 
site, http://www.ANSTaskForce.gov/.
    About $5,600,000 will be available from the National Sea Grant 
College Program to support these projects in FY 2003 and FY 2004, 
depending on the overall funding appropriation for the National Sea 
Grant College Program. Of this amount, about 70% of the funds will go 
to support reach projects and about 30% for outreach activities. 
Projects can be for a maximum of two years' duration.
    Sea Grant funding will be limited to $150,000 per year. Each 
proposal must include additional non-Federal matching funds equivalent 
to at least 50% of the Federal funds requested; for example, a proposal 
requesting a total of $200,000 in Federal support for two years would 
have to include at least an additional $100,000 in matching funds.

B. The Oyster Disease Program

Background
    The Oyster Disease Research Program has been in operation for 
nearly 10 years and has made significant accomplishments in the areas 
of disease diagnosis, immune system function of oysters, range and 
virulence of existing diseases, modeling and prediction of oyster 
diseases in the natural environment, oyster disease resistance through 
genetic selection and a variety of other technologies. Even though 
significant scientific information has been obtained through this work 
and we now have an oyster that has improved performance and 
survivability under field conditions; disease episodes can still be 
severe enough to prevent the culture and natural recovery of oysters. 
More research is clearly needed to improve the survivability of oysters 
in US coastal waters and to improve technology for disease management 
and control.
    Primary consideration for funding will be given to proposals which 
address the specific priorities listed

[[Page 51840]]

below. These priorities, originally determined at a national workshop 
in January, 1995 and further refined at the Oyster Disease Research 
Program session during the International Shellfish Restoration 
Conferences in 1996 and 2000, and at other programmatic and scientific 
reviews in 2001 and 2002, are not listed in any implied order of 
importance:
    (1) Design, apply and evaluate disease management strategies and 
their effectiveness for enhanced natural and aquaculture production. 
There are many issues related to establishment of oyster sanctuaries, 
configuration of commercial oyster beds, oyster aquaculture, use of 
non-native oyster species, remote setting, use of natural seed, bottom 
cleaning before setting, cultch type, etc., which should be addressed 
as related to the impacts and management of disease. Activities that 
involve private sector, state restoration programs and extension/
outreach in the implementation of research results and field trials 
using diagnostic methods, and other disease related technology and 
information for improved oyster disease management or oyster culture 
are appropriate under this priority.
    (2) Parasite life cycles and the dynamics and mechanisms of 
transmission: investigations of selected aspects of the life cycles of 
oyster pathogens, especially MSX and Perkinsus, and the dynamics/
mechanisms of disease transmission among hose organisms.
    (3) Host-parasite interactions: investigations which determine how 
pathogens avoid host defense mechanisms, biochemically characterize 
Perkinsus strains, determine factors which confer virulence to 
Perkinsus strains, determine mechanisms of infection/entry into the 
host, or compare disease processes in oyster species are being sought.
    (4) Mechanisms of disease resistance: continued emphasis is placed 
on studies concerning cellular/molecular mechanisms of disease 
infection and resistance in Crassostrea spp. and studies which 
determine the mechanisms of immune response in oysters. In addition, 
analysis of host defense factors, the development of molecular markers 
of disease and stress resistance, the development of immuno-stimulants, 
the application of chemo-therapeutics, and the identification of 
pathogen virulence and resistance mechanisms are needed; as are studies 
comparing resistance among diploid and polyploid oysters.
    (5) Development and application of diagnostic methods for all 
oyster diseases: this program has already developed many diagnostic 
techniques for several disease organisms and new proposals will be 
expected to show a significant improvement over the techniques already 
developed.
    (6) Environmental influences on disease and oyster mortality: 
proposals which address the influence of biotic and abiotic factors 
upon host-parasite interactions are high priority. Also included are 
studies of the effects of eutrophication and other stresses upon 
disease dynamics, basic physiological and adaptation processes in both 
hosts and parasites, the mechanisms of the summer kill phenomenon, 
relationships between disease progression and climate, and the eco-
physiology of Perkinsus.
    (7) Taxonomy, phylogeny and population studies of both hosts and 
parasites: emphasis continues on studies of variations in populations 
susceptibility, host resistance and pathogen virulence. Also needed are 
investigations of the genetic structure of both hosts and parasites.
    (8) Development and application of selective breeding strategies: 
we are seeking studies which develop molecular/biochemical markers for 
breeding resistance into oysters, as well as genome analysis and gene 
transfer techniques related to disease resistance. Evaluation of non-
native oyster species genomes with regard to disease resistance under 
aquaculture conditions will also be considered.
    (9) Development and testing of geographic and mathematical models 
to improve understanding of disease dynamics: a basic model now exists 
and new work in this area must clearly state how additional investment 
will take us to an even better level of prediction or disease 
management.
    About $4,000,000 is available from the National Sea Grant College 
Program to support research projects in FY 2003 and FY 2004, depending 
on the overall funding appropriation for the National Sea Grant College 
Program.
    Sea Grant funding will be limited to $200,000 per year. Each 
proposal must include additional non-Federal matching funds equivalent 
to at least 50% of the Federal funds requested; for example, a proposal 
requesting a total of $200,000 in Federal support for two years would 
have to include at least an additional $100,000 in matching funds.

C. The Gulf of Mexico Oyster Industry Program

Background
    The Gulf Oyster Industry Program was created as a result of 
information provided by Gulf oyster industry leaders, state resource 
managers, and academic researchers spanning the five-state Gulf region. 
Specific needs identified by these individuals were subsumed into 12 
concise issue statements as a result of a workshop held in New Orleans, 
Louisiana in 1997 and reaffirmed in 2000. This list of research and 
extension needs and proposed responses was presented to a select 
Industry Advisory Panel at the Gulf Oyster Industry Program Workshop 
conducted in New Orleans, La., on February 28, 1998, and again in 2000 
the group was asked to establish research priorities based on that 
framework. Through an ensuing discussion, the high-priorities were 
delineated as shown below:
    (1) At-Risk Consumer Education and Evaluation: proposals that will 
develop, implement and/or evaluate a Vibrio vulnificus Education 
Program, including, but not limited to: at-risk consumer foundations 
and associations, pharmacies, alcohol treatment centers, wound 
infection issues, media relations, and public perceptions.
    (2) Human Pathogenic Organisms: raw oysters have the potential to 
cause human illness due to the presence of naturally occurring 
opportunistic pathogens (e.g., Vibrio vulnificus), naturally occurring 
pathogens that become a concern only when present at elevated levels 
(e.g., Vibrio cholera or Vibrio parahaemolyticus), and pathogens which 
are related to contaminated growing areas (e.g., Norwalk and Norwalk-
like viruses, Salmonella sp. and Shiqella). This potential has created 
a perception the consumption of raw oysters places a large number of 
people at risk of contracting illnesses from opportunistic bacteria, 
toxins, and viruses. This RFP also seeks proposals that will develop 
new means of treating shell stock to eliminate human pathogens, and, 
develop or investigate new technology, such as ionized water, for 
depurating oysters of human pathogens.
    (3) Post-Harvest Treatment (PHT) Process Evaluation and Education: 
proposals that will develop and evaluate PHT demonstration projects, 
including, but not limited to, providing PHT product in demonstration 
projects to wholesalers & retailers, and, conducting economic analyses 
regarding the changes to current handling and processing practices.
    (4) Consumer Attitudes and Preferences: the oyster industry and 
regulators lack knowledge concerning the attitudes, preferences, and 
other characteristics of potential oyster consumers. Learning about 
consumers' attitudes and preferences will help

[[Page 51841]]

increase demand for new PHT and traditional oyster products. This RFP 
seeks proposals that will determine oyster consumer demographics, 
consumption patterns, attitudes and preferences, develop media-
relations protocol for the oyster industry, conduct media-relations 
workshops for the Gulf oyster industry to improve communication skills, 
develop media-relations protocol or decision tree for researchers and 
state regulatory personnel, and, determine the characteristics of the 
market for Gulf oysters, including sales (region, size of 
establishment, average sales, etc.), distribution, and product forms. 
Investigators should be aware that any surveys must be approved under 
the Paperwork Reduction Act before they are carried out, a process that 
may delay the start of those projects by up to six months.
    (5) Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB)Red Tide: HAB cause lengthy public 
health closures of shellfish growing waters, halting production for 
weeks and causing severe economic hardship in the impacted area. This 
RFP seeks proposals to develop rapid detection methods for toxic marine 
algae, especially G. breve, conduct HAB research advisory and outreach 
activities in the Gulf states, and conduct a workshops for state and 
Federal shellfish managers. sanitation personnel and researchers to 
include new monitoring, diagnostic, and management protocols for use in 
the reopening of shellfish growing waters closed by HAB.
    (6) Economic and Legal Impacts of Regulatory Action: the regulation 
of molluscan shellfish is unique from all other foods. Regulatory 
action either by state of Federal public health agencies, and 
subsequent news media responses can have severe economic and legal 
impacts on the harvesting, processing and marketing of shellfish, such 
as Gulf oysters. This RFP seeks proposals that analyze the effects of 
inaccurate media reports on sales, the delisting of a processor or 
state from the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List, the 
ramifications from product disparagement, and/or, the impact of the 
oyster and support industries on demand for labor and the coastal 
economies of the Gulf region.
    (7) Coastal Restoration/Freshwater Diversion: coastal land loss, 
deterioration of estuarine habitat, and coastal restoration programs, 
e.g., freshwater diversions and sedimentation projects, and causing 
widespread dislocations and conflicts with established oyster-producing 
operations. This RFP seeks proposals that educate oyster men, public 
officials, and citizens regarding the economic and environmental role 
of the oyster industry and the economic costs of displacing and 
relocation oyster bedding operations, and/or, conduct demonstration 
projects for oyster farmers to show them the best strategy to relocate 
their oyster farms that are damaged by coastal restoration projects.
    (8) Labor and Mechanization: the traditional labor base that 
supports oyster growing, harvesting, and processing is shrinking 
rapidly, with consequently declining production and increased costs. 
This RFP seeks proposals that investigate and develop cost-effective 
mechanized approaches to oyster harvesting and processing, including, 
but not limited to, developing new means to package and handle oyster 
shell stock and shucked oysters, including large re-usable, low-cost 
containerization of shell stock for vessels to trucks, handling 
equipment to move large containers of shell stock; and, cheaper 
containers for shucked oysters.
    (9) Oyster Diseases: oyster diseases are having a major impact on 
Gulf Coast oyster stocks and for the most part this topic will be 
covered under the Oyster Disease topic in this solicitation. However, 
oyster disease research specific to the Gulf Coast will be considered 
in this solicitation.
    (10) Genetics and Oyster Hatchery technology: these technologies 
are needed to develop cost-effective hatchery/nursery operations to 
augment wild oyster production with specialized strains or help create 
oyster aquaculture operations. This RFP seeks proposals that develop 
polyploid broodstock for the Gulf Coast, disease resistant transgenic 
oysters, and/or, address practical problems which may be common to 
oyster production in general, but especially acute in a farming 
situation, e.g., biofouling, predation, disease, etc.
    About $2,000,000 is available from the National Sea Grant College 
Program to support research projects in FY 2003 and FY 2004, depending 
on the overall funding appropriation for the National Sea Grant College 
Program.
    Sea Grant funding will be limited to $200,000 per year. Each 
proposal must include additional non-Federal matching funds equivalent 
to at least 50% of the Federal funds requested; for example, a proposal 
requesting a total of $200,000 in Federal support for two years would 
have to include at least an additional $10,000 in matching funds.

III. Eligibility

    Eligible applicants are individuals, institutions of higher 
education, other nonprofits, commercial organizations, international 
organizations, state, local and Indian tribal governments. Directors of 
the State Sea Grant Programs are not eligible to compete for funds 
under this announcement.

IV. Evaluation Criteria

    The evaluation criteria for proposals submitted for support under 
these three programs are:

A. Impact of Proposed Project (50%)

    Significance of the problem addressed; impacts/benefits expected to 
the nation as a consequence of the project; degree to which the 
activity will advance the state of the science or discipline; potential 
for technology transfer to user groups such as industry and/or for 
enhanced economic, scientific, educational, or management value.

B. Project Design (50%)

    Appropriateness of methodologies to be used; advanced synthesis of 
existing information; use or extension of state-of-the-art methods; 
qualifications of the investigators (education, training, and/or 
experience and record of achievement with previous funding); the degree 
to which multiple investigators, other Federal agencies, and potential 
users of the results of the proposed activity have been involved in 
planning the activity and/or will be involved in the execution of the 
activity, as appropriate; proposed project schedule (timeline).

V. Selection Procedures

    Preliminary proposals will be reviewed at the NSGO by panels 
composed of government, industry, and academic experts. The panels will 
be asked to assess each preliminary proposal according to the 
evaluation criteria. The panels will make individual recommendations to 
the NSGO regarding which preliminary proposals may be suitable for 
further consideration. On the basis of the panels' recommendations, the 
Director of the NSGO will advise proposers whether or not the 
submission of full proposals is encouraged. Invitation to submit a full 
proposal does not constitute an indication that the proposal will be 
funded. Interested parties who submitted preliminary proposals in 
accordance with the procedure described in this notice may, if they 
wish, submit full proposals even if the Director of the NSGO does not 
encourage full proposal submission.

[[Page 51842]]

    Individual state Sea Grant Programs receiving full proposals will 
conduct the mail peer review of the proposed projects in accordance 
with the Evaluation Criteria listed above. Complete proposals (12 
copies) and copies of the mail reviews will then be sent by the state 
Sea Grant programs to the National Sea Grant Office. The NSGO will 
conduct mail reviews for proposals submitted directly to it by 
applicants not in Sea Grant states.
    Each proposal will be scored in accordance with the assigned 
weights of the above evaluation criteria by an independent peer review 
panel consisting of government, academic, and industry experts. These 
panel members will provide individual evaluations on each proposal; 
thus there will be no consensus advice. Their recommendations and 
evaluations will be considered by the NSGO in the final selection. Only 
those proposals awarded an average score of 50% or greater by the panel 
will be eligible for funding. For those proposals, the NSGO will: (a) 
Ascertain which proposals best meet the program priorities (stated in 
Section II), and do not substantially duplicate other projects that are 
currently funded or are approved for funding by NOAA and other Federal 
agencies, hence, awards may not necessarily be made to the highest-
scored proposals; (b) select the proposals to be funded; (c) determine 
which components of the selected projects will be funded; (d) determine 
the total duration of funding for each proposal; and (e) determine the 
amount of funds available for each proposal. Investigators may be asked 
to modify objectives, work plans, or budgets prior to final approval of 
the award. Subsequent grant administration procedures will be in 
accordance with current NOAA grants procedures. Note that only one 
award will normally be made for each project; if multiple institutions 
are involved, they should be handled through subawards and contracts. A 
summary statement of the scientific review by the peer panel will be 
provided to each applicant.

VI. Instructions for Application

A. General Requirements

    The ideal project attacks a well-defined problem that will be or is 
a significant societal, research, or technology development and 
transfer issue. The organization or people whose task it will be to 
make related decisions or who will be able to make specific use of 
project results will have been identified and contacted by the 
Principal Investigator(s). The proposal demonstrates an understanding 
of what constitutes necessary and sufficient information for 
responsible decision-making or for applied use, and shows how that 
information will be provided by the proposed activity or in concert 
with other planned activities.
    Proposals are expected to have: a rigorous, hypothesis-based 
scientific work plan, or a well-defined, logical approach to address an 
engineering problem or outreach opportunity; a strong rationale for the 
proposed work; and a clear relationship with the ultimate users of the 
information. Projects undertaken jointly with industry, business, 
multiple investigators, or other agencies with interest in the problem 
are encouraged. Their contribution to the project may be in the form of 
collaboration, in-kind services, or dollar support. Projects that are 
solely monitoring efforts are not appropriate for funding. Proposals 
that incorporate educational, outreach, socioeconomic, and management 
components and applications will be viewed favorably.
    To prevent the expenditure of effort that may not be successful, 
proposers must first submit preliminary proposals; following review by 
the NSGO, these proposers may subsequently submit full proposals. Full 
proposals submitted by applicants who do not first submit a preliminary 
proposal will be returned without review. Applications may be made for 
Federal funds to support up to two-thirds of the total budget. 
Allocation of matching funds, equal to at least one-third of the total 
budget (in other words, at least 50% of the Federal request), must be 
specified. No more than $150,000 of Federal Sea Grant funds per year 
will be awarded to an Aquatic Nuisance Species project. No more than 
$200,000 of Federal Sea Grant funds per year will be awarded to an 
Oyster Disease or Gulf of Mexico Oyster Industry project. The maximum 
duration for funded projects will be two years. Awards may be made 
either as grants or, if there is substantial involvement by one or more 
Federal agencies, as cooperative agreements. Examples of substantial 
involvement may include collaboration in research, participation in 
selection of key personnel, or approval of key stages in the project 
before subsequent steps are undertaken. Investigators are encouraged to 
review the budgeting and grant-making policies of their state's Sea 
Grant Program, if any, before finalizing their proposal submissions.

B. How To Submit

    Interested parties must submit applications (preliminary and full 
proposals) as follows. Applications originating in one of the Sea Grant 
states must be submitted to the state's Sea Grant College Program, 
which will submit the final grant application to the NSGO. Applications 
originating in a state with no Sea Grant College Program may be 
submitted to the nearest state Sea Grant College Program which will 
then submit the final grant application to the NSGO, or the application 
may be submitted directly to the NSGO. Twenty (20) copies of 
preliminary proposals and proposals must be submitted to the state Sea 
Grant Programs or to the NSGO according to the schedule outlined below 
(See ``Timetable''). The addresses of the Sea Grant College Program 
directors may be found on Sea Grant's World Wide Web home page (http://
www.nsgo.seagrant.org/SGDirectors.html) or may also be obtained by 
contacting Mr. Joseph Brown at the NSGO (phone: 301-713-2438 x135 or e-
mail: joe.brown@noaa.gov). Preproposals and proposals sent to the NSGO 
should be addressed to: National Sea Grant Office, R/SG, Attn: Ms. Geri 
Taylor, Proposal Processing, NOAA, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver 
Spring, MD 20910 (phone 301-713-2435 for express mail applications). 
Facsimile transmissions and electronic mail submission of applications 
will not be accepted.

C. Timetable

    September 17, 2002, 5 p.m. (local time)--Preliminary proposals (20 
copies) must be received by state Sea Grant Program, or by NSGO if 
application is being submitted by an institution in a non-Sea Grant 
state.
    September 24, 2002, 5 p.m. EDT--Preliminary proposals (18 copies) 
due at NSGO from state Sea Grant Programs.
    December 3, 2002, 5 p.m. (local time)--Full proposals (20 copies) 
must be received by state Sea Grant Program, or by NSGO if application 
is being submitted by an institution in a non-Sea Grant state.
    December 10, 2002, 5 p.m. EST--Full proposals (12 copies) due at 
NSGO from state Sea Grant Programs.
    February 15, 2003, 5 p.m. EST--State Sea Grant Programs forward 
reviews received to NSGO.
    June 1, 2003 (approximate)--Funds awarded to selected recipients; 
projects begin.
    Note that applications arriving after the closing dates given above 
will be accepted for review only if the applicant can document that the 
application was provided to a delivery service that guaranteed delivery 
to the appropriate address (see ADDRESSES) prior to the specified 
closing date and time; in any event, applications received by the

[[Page 51843]]

NSGO or the state Sea Grant programs later than two business days 
following the closing date will not be accepted.

D. What To Submit

Preliminary Proposal Requirements
    Preliminary proposals must be printed on metric A4 (210 mm x 297 
mm) or 8.5" x 11" paper with at least a 10-point font. The following 
information should be included:
    1. Signed Title Page: The title page must be signed by the 
Principal Investigator and should clearly identify the program to which 
the proposal is submitted by starting the project title with ``Sea 
Grant Aquatic Nuisance Species Research Program,'' ``Sea Grant Aquatic 
Nuisance Species Outreach Program,'' ``Sea Grant Oyster Disease 
Program'' or ``Sea Grant Gulf of Mexico Oyster Industry Program'' (as 
appropriate). Principal Investigators and collaborators should be 
identified by affiliation and contact information. The total project 
costs (Federal funds being requested and matching funds) should be 
listed as well as the source of the matching funds. Preliminary 
proposals must include matching funds equivalent to at least 50% of the 
Federal funds requested.
    2. A concise (2-page limit) description of the project, its 
experimental design, its expected output or products, the anticipated 
users of the products, and its anticipated impact. Proposers should 
consult the Evaluation Criteria for additional guidance in preparing 
the preliminary proposals.
    3. Resumes (1-page limit) of the Principal Investigators.
    4. Proposers are encouraged (but not required) to include a 
separate page suggesting reviewers that the proposers believe are 
especially well-qualified to review the proposal. Proposers may also 
designate persons they would prefer not review the proposal, indicating 
why. These suggestions will be considered during the review process.
    No institutional signatures or Federal government forms are needed 
while submitting preliminary proposals.
Full Proposal Requirements
    All pages must be printed on metric A4 (210 mm x 297 mm) or 8.5" x 
11" paper with at least a 10-point font. Each full proposal should 
include the items listed below. Brevity will assist reviewers and 
program staff in dealing effectively with proposals. Therefore, the 
Project Description may not exceed 15 pages. Tables and visual 
materials, including charts, graphs, maps, photographs and other 
pictorial presentations are included in the 15-page limitation; 
literature citations and letters of support are not included in the 15-
page limitation. No appendices are permitted. Applicants may obtain all 
required application forms through the World Wide Web at http://
www.nsgo.seagrant.org/research/index.html and http://www.ofa.noaa.gov/-
grants/pdf/, from the state Sea Grant Programs, or from Mr. Joseph 
Brown at the National Sea Grant Office (phone: 301-713-2438 x135 or e-
mail: joe.brown@noaa.gov).
    1. Signed Title Page: The title page must be signed by the 
Principal Investigator and should clearly identify the program to which 
the proposal is submitted by starting the project title with ``Sea 
Grant Aquatic Nuisance Species Research Program,'' ``Sea Grant Aquatic 
Nuisance Species Outreach Program,'' ``Sea Grant Oyster Disease 
Program'' or ``Sea Grant Gulf of Mexico Oyster Industry Program'' (as 
appropriate). The total amount of Federal and matching funds being 
requested for each project year must be listed.
    2. Project Summary: The project summary should concisely describe 
the activity being proposed and the impact that would result from its 
successful completion, in a form suitable for publication. Applicants 
are encouraged to use the Sea Grant Project Summary Form 90-2, but may 
use their own form as long as it provides the same information as the 
Sea Grant form. The project summary should include: A. Title: Use the 
exact title as it appears in the rest of the application. B. 
Investigators: List the names and affiliations of each investigator who 
will significantly contribute to the project, starting with the 
Principal Investigator. For graduate fellowships, the faculty advisor 
or the state Sea Grant Director may be used. C. Funding request for 
each year of the project, including matching funds if appropriate. D. 
Project Period: Start and completion dates. Proposals should request a 
start date of June 1, 2003. E. Project Abstract: This should include 
the rationale for the proposed activity, the scientific or technical 
objectives and/or hypotheses to be tested, and a brief summary of the 
work to be completed.
    3. Project Description (15-page limit):
    a. Introduction/Background/Justification: Subjects that the 
investigator(s) may wish to include in this section are: (1) Previous 
fundamental research, including relevant work funded by Sea Grant, and 
a description of what additional work is needed to enhance the value of 
that work; and (ii) impacts of the study to the particular discipline 
or subject area.
    b. Research or Technical Plan: (i) Objectives to be achieved, 
hypotheses to be tested; (ii) Experimental design and statistical 
analysis to be used; (iii) Plan of work, detailed methodology, 
collaboration with industry or other user groups (if appropriate), and 
a timetable for project activities; and (iv) Role of project personnel.
    c. Output/Anticipated Economic Benefits: These may be measured in 
many ways. To the extent possible, proposers are urged to devise 
appropriate metrics to quantify the benefits. Examples of metrics may 
include patents or licenses; commercializable new products (e.g. 
products or equipment used to remove aquatic nuisance species from 
ballast water or to harvest and process oyster products), oyster 
disease diagnostics and control technologies, improved oyster 
survivals, creation of successful oyster restoration programs, process 
improvements, corporate investments in oyster technologies or academic 
research efforts; private sector job opportunities; number of end users 
or persons affected by the projects long-term goals, etc.
    d. Coordination with other Program Elements: Describe any 
coordination with other agency programs or ongoing research efforts. 
Describe any other proposals that are essential to the success of this 
proposal.
    e. References and Literature Citations: Should be included but will 
not be counted in the 15-page project description limit.
    4. Budget and Budget Justification: There should be a separate 
budget for each year and one cumulative budget for the entire project. 
Applicants are encouraged to use the Sea Grant Budget Form 90-4, but 
may also use their own form as long as it provides the same information 
as the Sea Grant form. Subawards and contracts should have a separate 
budget page. Matching funds must be indicated. The budget should 
include a separate budget justification page that itemizes all budget 
items in sufficient detail to enable reviewers to evaluate the 
appropriateness of the funding requested, and indicates the source for 
all matching funds. Please pay special attention to any travel, supply 
or equipment budgets and provide details. Note that only one award will 
normally be made for each project; if multiple institutions are 
involved, they should be handled through subawards and contracts with 
all necessary indirects costs included in the original budget 
submission.
    Investigators are strongly advised to consult with and follow any 
budgeting guidelines available through their state's

[[Page 51844]]

Sea Grant Program. Local institutional policies may affect how a 
project budget should be submitted, and what may be included (i.e., 
application of indirect costs, availability of fellowships, and other 
restrictions or cost-saving opportunities). Proposals generated from 
Sea Grant states must follow local guidelines, if any. In no case will 
proposals be funded at a level which exceeds the funding limitations as 
set in this announcement.
    5. Current and Pending Support: Applicants must provide information 
on all current and pending Federal support for ongoing projects and 
proposals, including subsequent funding in the case of continuing 
grants. The relationship between the proposed project and these other 
projects should be described, and the number of person-months per year 
to be devoted to the projects must be stated.
    6. Vitae (2 pages maximum per investigator).
    7. Research Protocol (if appropriate): Research activities funded 
under this program must not accelerate the spread of nonindigenous 
species to non-infested watersheds. Therefore, investigators studying 
any nonindigenous species whose laboratories or research study sites 
are in currently uninfested areas must develop protocols for handling 
the particular nonindigenous species that will prevent its release into 
the environment. As part of the plan of action, the investigator must 
detail these protocols and explain how the proposed work will be 
accomplished while safeguarding the environment. The research protocol 
will be reviewed by an interagency committee created under the 
Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (16 
U.S.C. 4701 et seq.). Guidelines for developing suitable protocols are 
available through the internet Web site http://www.ANST askForce.gov/
resprot.htm#, or from Dorn Carlson (listed in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT, above). Proposals lacking a suitable protocol will not be 
eligible for funding.
    8. Letters of commitment and letter of support from any industry or 
other partner, if appropriate.

VII. Other Requirements for Successful Applicants

    The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification of Requirements 
for Grants and Cooperative Agreements contained in the Federal Register 
Notice of October 1, 2001 (66 FR 49917) are applicable to this 
solicitation. However, please note that the Department will not 
implement the requirements of Executive Order 13202 (66 FR 49921), 
pursuant to guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget in 
light of a court opinion which found that the Executive Order was not 
legally authorized. See Building and Construction Trades Department v. 
Allbauth, 172 F. Supp. 2d 138 (D.D.C. 2001). This decision is currently 
on appeal. When the case has been finally resolved, the Department will 
provide further information on implementation of Executive Order 13202. 
The Federal Register notice also lists the forms required to complete 
the standard Department of Commerce grant application package, but 
those forms will be required only for those applicants who have been 
recommended for funding. For projects selected in Sea Grant states, the 
Sea Grant Program will prepare and submit these forms on behalf of all 
projects selected from that state.
    Unsuccessful applications will be held in the National Sea Grant 
Office for a period of five (5) years and then destroyed. Applications 
under this program are not subject to Executive Order 12372, 
``Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.''
    Pursuant to Executive Orders 12876, 12900, and 13021, the 
Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
(DOC/NOAA) is strongly committed to broadening the participation of 
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Hispanic Serving 
Institutions (HSI), and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU) in its 
educational and research programs. The DOC/NOAA vision, mission, and 
goals are to achieve full participation by Minority Serving 
Institutions (MSI) in order to advance the development of human 
potential, to strengthen the nation's capacity to provide high-quality 
education, and to increase opportunities for MSIs to participate in and 
benefit from Federal Financial Assistance programs. DOC/NOAA encourages 
all applicants to include meaningful participation of MSIs. 
Institutions eligible to be considered MSIs are listed at the following 
Internet Web site: 
http://www.ed.gov/offices/OCR/minorityinst.html.
    This notice contains collection-of-information requirements subject 
to the Paperwork Reduction Act. The use of NOAA Forms 90-2 and 90-4, or 
equivalents, has been approved by OMB under the control number 0648-
0362. Public reporting burden for these collections of information is 
estimated to average 20 minutes for a NOAA Form 90-2 and 15 minutes for 
a NOAA Form 90-4. These response times include the time for reviewing 
instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and 
maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the 
collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden 
estimate, or any other aspect of this data collection, including 
suggestions for reducing the burden, to the National Sea Grant Office 
(see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section).
    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required 
to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure 
to comply with, a collection of information subject to the Paperwork 
Reduction Act, unless that collection displays a currently valid OMB 
control number.

VIII. Classification

    It has been determined that this notice is not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    It has been determined that this notice does not contain policies 
with Federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 
13132.
    Because notice and comment are not required under 5 U.S.C. 553, or 
any other law, for notices relating to public property, loans, grants, 
benefits or contracts (5 U.S.C. 553(a)), a Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis is not required and has not been prepared for this notice, 5 
U.S.C. 601 et seq.

    Dated: July 5, 2002.
Louisa Koch,
Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
[FR Doc. 02-20221 Filed 8-8-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-KA-M